So when I heard that Sony was coming out with their own portable system, I was skeptical. After all, that was Nintendo’s domain. And when I saw the PSP and heard all about it, I grew even more skeptical. But when it finally launched and I saw what games it had, I was vindicated. The PSP sucked. At first, anyway.
As for the DS, I thought it was a gimmick. A touch screen? That’ll be inaccurate and too easy to break. No fun at all! Boy, was I wrong. At a friend’s house, I played it and I was hooked. Trying it for myself made me a believer.
So what made the DS such a success in the first place while the PSP bombed? The answer, as always, is the games. See, the DS has a touch screen, which means you can’t play those types of games anywhere else. Also, it has all those old school games we gamers love so much, but with the ability to add new things, like updated graphics or features. There is still a clamor for 2-D games and the GBA and now the DS can sustain that need.
The PSP, on the other hand, tried to be a portable PS2. It featured games like Dynasty Warriors, Ridge Racer and Wipeout Pure, all of which has better versions on the PS2. Why play a lesser product on a portable system? Metal Gear Acid was a good idea, as that game turned the series’ formula on its head, but it wasn’t enough. This problem, coupled with the UMD disaster (who wants to buy another version of Spider-Man just to watch it on the bus when an Ipod does that a lot better?) put Sony and the PSP way back in the race.
Some of you might be wondering why I, the PS3 owner, am crapping on the PSP. Well, for one, it’s all true and for two, I may love my PS3, but I love my DS even more. That’s right, not your typical fanboy, am I?
So how did the PSP finally manage to fight back? First, if you are going to be a portable PS2, have games that the PS2 doesn’t already. Like Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City and Vice City Stories and God of War: Chains of Olympus. These made the PSP a must have system for their respective times. Second, with games like Locoroco, Final Fantasy Tactics, Lumines, Patapon and Daxter, the PSP carved it’s own niche using the kinds of games that could not be played anywhere else. Locoroco was a game I was dying to play, but I didn’t have a PSP, so I missed out. Final Fantasy Crisis Core and Dissadia are the keys to the PSP catching up to the DS with hardcore gamers. Nintendo has all the kids already. Pokemon and Nintendogs saw to that, but Sony can still have their share of the market, too.
Games matter, not PS3 connectivity or anything like that. Those things help, along with all the cool features the PSP is sporting. But having must have games are the only way to win gamers over. Would the Xbox have made a blip without Halo to get things going? The PSP is on the right track, it just needs to get those blockbuster games.
What do you guys think of the PSP and the DS these days? Do you prefer one over the other or neither?